London Mansion Featured in 'The King's Speech' to Be Sold for $50 Million
LONDON — A six-story, 24-bedroom mansion — used for hedonistic parties, fashion shoots and even scenes from the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech — will go on the market here and is expected to sell for up to $50 million.
The property at 33 Portland Place became renowned as a location of 'sex parties' held for London's upper classes but is now set to be off-loaded by its owner, convicted fraudster and self-styled Lord, Edward Davenport, to pay off $23 million in legal fees.
Davenport originally bought the run-down property in 1999 for just $850,000 from the Sierra Leone government, then in the midst of a civil war, and began to revamp the interior.
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Singer Amy Winehouse famously used the mansion for the video to hit 2006 song Rehab, while Kate Moss shot an advert for lingerie company Agent Provocateur in which she walked down one of its staircases wearing only stiletto heels and underwear. One event saw the mansion's indoor swimming pool reportedly filled with Cognac allowing partygoers to row across it.
More recently, it became known as the residence of speech therapist Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush, with a glass-ceilinged dining room used as the consulting room where Colin Firth's King George VI was treated in The King's Speech. In an interview with the Daily Mail, the organizer of several sex parties held at the property admitted that revelers had been cavorting on the same 'therapist's couch' seen in the film.
Davenport, who was released from a seven-year prison sentence in May after he was found guilty of running a major fraud, told the Sunday Telegraph that he was angry at having to sell the mansion, as it "wasn't really related to the offenses." However, investigators have said that the property was bought and renovated using money acquired through the fraud.
The mansion at 33 Portland Place is expected to be sold this autumn.